Are guinea pigs expensive

Guinea pigs costs

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Acquisition costs and maintenance costs

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Guinea pigs cost money! The purchase price is practically negligible because it accounts for the smallest part of the costs. Rather, it is the running costs in keeping guinea pigs that tend to be overlooked. The animals regularly need hay, litter and fresh feed. In addition, once they get sick, they quickly run into high costs.

  1. purchase
  2. Sample calculation
  3. Running costs
  4. Vet costs

Above all, the costs for the veterinarian often exceed the purchase price for the first treatment many times over and are not infrequently not taken into account when considering buying guinea pigs. Therefore, before making a purchase, you should take a close look at the amounts that an attitude entails. Unfortunately, we repeatedly observe that rodents are classified as second-class pets, so it is not surprising that they are assumed to be cheap pets. However, this is wrong if you want to do justice to animals conscientiously and responsibly.

How much do guinea pigs cost?

The purchase is certainly a smaller factor compared to other pets. A guinea pig can be bought quickly and in emergency wards they can be placed in a good home for as little as € 10, neutered animals usually at the cost of the neutering fee. Rare breeds can cost up to € 50 or more - which is still very cheap compared to other pets. In any case, one must bear in mind that at least two guinea pigs must always be kept together, because as social beings they quickly show abnormalities when kept alone. Only in group housing with at least 2 guinea pigs do they feel comfortable and are kept in a species-appropriate manner.

It should also be mentioned that animals that are too cheap often do not come from species-appropriate breeding. Follow-up costs in the form of illnesses are unfortunately almost inevitable.

Cost of acquisition and initial equipment in the example

It is difficult to really come up with tangible examples as this is determined by both the region and the time of year. The following table provides at least some of the approximate costs that guinea pigs will cause in the household budget. For the example calculation we have chosen a group consisting of four animals, one of which is a buck to be castrated. This corresponds to the typical way of keeping. When calculating the cost of the feed, we took an average value and took into account the purchase of a herb mixture, hay and sufficient vegetables. Accessories refer to the usual market prices for the initial equipment such as claw shears, hay rack, shelter, cork tubes and cuddly blankets. The list for this looks like this:

descriptionø costsnumberexample
Cage / enclosure150€1150€
Food bowl5€210€
Water potions7€214€

Running costs for guinea pigs

The running costs are added to the acquisition costs. They essentially arise for:

  • Litter
    Litter is required for regular cleaning of the cage or enclosure. The costs differ greatly here. Normal sawdust in large packs is usually the cheapest (550 l for € 6.95, 1 cent / l). However, there are also much more expensive types of litter (up to 30 cents / l, pellets up to € 1 / l).
  • hay
    There are also running costs for the feed. First the hay. I always buy a large bale (approx. 20 kg) for € 5 (25 cents / kg). Smaller packs from well-known companies cost many times that (up to € 1.60 / kg). Whereby the expensive varieties are often no better than the bulk packs.
  • Herbs
    Fortunately, there are now a large number of herbal mixtures, and the quality is also convincing. A few years ago it was very different. Guinea pigs are pronounced herb eaters and eat them both dry and fresh.
  • Fresh food
    The fresh feed makes up a large part. Every guinea pig has to eat at least 10% of its body weight of fresh food per day, i.e. at least 100g per day on average. That is the absolute minimum that has to be fed, better is more. And it has to be varied. This is particularly expensive in winter. Cucumbers for € 1, paprika mix for € 2.50, etc. Even if you switch to winter vegetables (savoy cabbage, turnips, etc.), high-quality fresh feed accounts for a large part of the running costs.
  • dried animal food
    If the guinea pigs are (still) given dry food, these costs will of course also be added. A reasonably good feed made from grain-free pellets, dried vegetables and herbs costs around € 4.50 / kg.

As an approximate guideline, approx. 30-50 € per guinea pig per month in running costs calculate. In summer it is a bit cheaper due to the nature offer, but more expensive in winter. The specification includes all of the above points as an average.

 Saving tip: Both hay and litter should be bought in large containers! The packs offered in drugstores or full-range retailers are both too small and too expensive in relation to one another!

As long as the animals are healthy there are no additional costs. However, you will not always stay healthy. A big and actually unquantifiable unknown is the veterinarian and the cost of medication.

Veterinarian fees in guinea pigs

Probably the largest part of the costs are spent on treating the guinea pigs at the veterinarian. Sometimes you are lucky and the animals hardly get sick, but there are also cases and years when one or more animals often have to go to the vet. Coccidia, pneumonia, hair lumps, mites, skin fungus, inflammation of the ankle ... This adds up to a lot of costs. That is why there must always be a financial reserve for this. The following is a brief overview of some of the most common veterinary costs and treatments for guinea pigs.

According to the veterinary fee ordinance (simple rate) costs:

  • the examination of a guinea pig: € 7.67
  • an X-ray: € 15.34
  • an injection (without costs for the medicament office): 3.07 €
  • Shortening the claws: € 4.09
  • Tooth correction: € 5.11 to € 12.87


Medicines cost extra, of course!

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